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June 27, 2017

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Drug-using visa applicants to be turned down: MOFA

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) official was quoted recently as saying that foreign nationals who have a record of substance abuse are highly likely to have their visa applications denied.

The MOFA official stated that in light of the marijuana consumption scandal involving a well known local celebrity, MOFA is stressing to foreigners that marijuana is considered an illegal drug in Taiwan.

 Though Taiwan is a visa free country for many foreign nationals, foreign individuals with a history of narcotics use will likely have their permanent residency and work visa applications denied should the use of such substances be revealed during visa-application background screenings.

Taiwan is a country that takes substance abuse very seriously, the official said, which is why both nationals and foreigners alike should think twice before taking any form of illegal drugs.

Foreigners would be asked to provide Taiwanese authorities with a police clearance certificate for long-term visa applications, the official said. Should a certificate indicate a history of drug use, foreigners will most likely not receive a visa.

The official went on to restate the fact that marijuana is considered to be an illegal narcotic in many countries including Taiwan. The official implored foreign tourists to refrain from using the substance locally.

 Taiwanese citizens have been known to use working-holiday visas for other countries to engage in the narcotics trade, the official said, with individuals already arrested in countries such as Australia and New Zealand. The individuals are currently under judicial investigation in the said countries, the official concluded, stressing that such actions should not be repeated by Taiwanese tourists.

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